Summary: The Gospel reaches it’s climax as Jesus is executed and pays the ultimate price for our sins.
Do we have any artists in here? If you are an artist then you probably enjoyed art class in school while you were growing up. All of the different mediums, all of the colors and all the expressions of creativity would have been something that you enjoyed and looked forward to. While that would certainly describe my wife, I would not fall into the category of one who loved art and art class in school. It wasn’t until my Junior year in High School that Art class became enjoyable for me. I had a teacher that actually made me be creative and work and Erin was in my class. As long as we stayed busy and worked on our “Masterpieces,” we could talk and be together. Suddenly I wanted to be an artist! That was a first, all through the early years of school, I hated art class. I enjoyed math and science, reading and even spelling. I loved gym class and recess, but art bored me to tears. I would have much rather been outside throwing a football than inside making circus animals out of pipe cleaners, it just wasn’t my thing.
My earliest memories of art class involve my teacher trying to explain perspective to us. Do you remember that? You would draw something like a main street going through a town and the stores are lined up along the street and they get smaller and smaller as they move towards the edge of the page to make it look like they get farther and farther away. You would start with a focal point and then bring two lines out from that point that progressively got further apart. Then, you’d draw the street and the shops and everything between those two lines. I just remember being frustrated because I could never get mine to look the way that it was supposed to look. My main street never looked like a town anybody would want to live in. To learn perspective, you had to have a point that everything else was working towards. It’s like a good book. I love to read John Grisham novels. Throughout the book, you may have a vast array of characters and plots and activities that are going on, but like that perspective drawing, they are all headed towards the same focal point. The climax of the story, where everything begins to happen at once and it culminates in a single event, that point where you can no longer put the book down. In the book of Matthew, we’ve come to that point. We’ve come to the focal point, the event that this book, and all of Scripture, and all of Creation, has been pointing towards and building towards from the beginning. We’ve come to the Cross.
This is the point. This is what Christ has come to do. The timing is right, He has been teaching and ministering for three years and the stage is set for the accomplishment of His purpose on Earth, the salvation of mankind. We’ve looked at Jesus’ birth. We’ve looked at the authority that He had over nature, calming the sea and walking on water. He showed authority over the body by healing all who came to Him, the deaf, the Blind, the leper, the cripple. He drove out demons with a word and showed authority that was unequaled by any human over the spiritual realms. We’ve looked at the authority that he had over death, raising a young girl and his friend Lazarus from the grave. He’s shown us authority beyond the established religion and the manmade rules and laws that governed the Jews. He fed 5000, he blessed the children, he taught a new way of love and heart change, he stood up to the Pharisees, he ate with tax collectors and sinners, he offered living water to a Gentile woman, he fulfilled every Messianic prophecy concerning His birth and ministry but none of those things were the real reason that He came. It was part of the reason, He had come to point the way to God and everything that He did revealed the character and heart of God, a God that the Jews worshipped, but didn’t truly know. He came so that they could see God.
JN 14:9 Jesus answered: "Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, `Show us the Father’?
Jesus was the image of God come to Earth, He came to point to God, to show us God, but that was not His primary objective. He came not only to point the way to God, He came to be the way to God. He came to provide forgiveness for our sins so that we could know God, not just worship Him, not just fear Him, but know Him and have a relationship with Him. For that to happen, He had to become a sacrifice, the cross was necessary.